Consider the Return on Your Investment (Home Improvement)

Consider the return on your investment when doing home improvement projects. We all like saving money and sprucing up our homes to suit our needs and tastes but as a real estate broker, I see homes every day where the current owner did some home improvement which many perspective buyers consider a negative. While many people believe they will be in their current home for "the rest of their lives" the truth is that the average mortgage is 21 months.


To get the best return on your hard work or home improvement project, keep the colors neutral and select quality products when selecting items that will be "fixtures" in the home when it comes time to sell. Ceramic tile flooring can add marketability and value to your home when it sells ONLY IF the buyer doesn't look at it and think "oh man, we have to break up all of this tile to replace it!"

Another tip here is to purchase enough tile to do "future" projects if you are taking things one room at a time. Tile manufacturers are always discontinuing styles and colors and you don't want to go back when you're finally ready to tackle the family room only to find your tile no longer exists. Buyers don't like mismatched adjoining tile and don't like tile with dominant colors like pink or blue or green unless they see it as something easily replaced.

Having your countertops done in purple or your bathrooms done in aqua green tile may look lovely with your decor, but a potential buyer will see this as a fixer-upper project and will typically offer less for your home. If you want bold color ACCESSORIZE with rugs and drapes and other accents to bring in the desired color. Your pocketbook will thank you later!

By Angela Faulkner from Lakeland, FL

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January 20, 20060 found this helpful

Sound advice, however, for those of us who have waited a long time & saved for what we want, we should have & enjoy it regardless of what future buyers would think. The possible future loss will be made up by the years of enjoyment from having what we want, finally, and not what future buyers would want. It is a shame to beautifully redecorate a home for the benefit only of a future purchaser while we are never fully satisfied w/ the results because it's not what we wanted. So often people never do anything with their homes until it is time to sell, what a shame. You never know what life will throw your way, so if you can afford it & if you really, really want something we say go for it and don't worry about a possible near-future home sale, unless you know now that it is a certainty or high possibility.


In that case we advise the "neutral" approach accessorized with color or flare. Some people do actually stay in their homes for 30 years or more. Keep in mind however, that even you may change your mind at some point & be faced w/ the task of tearing out that awful (used to be "to die for") teal colored tile or purple counter! Just another take on the decorating/remodeling theme.

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By Starlight (Guest Post)
January 21, 20060 found this helpful

The house we lived in and raised our kids had a very low key blue carpeting in it which we loved. However, 3 years ago when it came time to sell our home, no one could see past that, so we had to completely recarpet the house, and repaint all the dark wood in the house white to sell our house. It sold on the last day of a 6 month listing, for $50,000 less than our original price. So I agree to a point, enjoy what you like, but when it's time to sell, you need to make it almost look like a new home or it will stay on the market for a long time.


We bought a fixer upper now and have enjoyed working on remodeling it for the past 3 years. We have definitely taken our past experience to heart in the projects we have done to this house, but at the same time, we really do enjoy our new space, knowing that some day if we have to sell down the road there is a possibility we won't get top dollar. As long as you go in knowing that, you'll be ok.

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January 21, 20060 found this helpful

I saw a movie recently, Sweet Fifteen, which showed the inside of a Mexican home. I really envied the vibrant colors they are not afraid to use, i.e., warm orange walls. I agree that we should use the colors that make us feel happy and alive. I think you can dramatically add color with paint without it being that hard to change back to neutral if you need to.


I bought my house almost new and it had neutral colors. White walls, beige carpet. One of the first things I did was paint my living room violet. I love the way it looks with the blue couch and yellow accents. If I decide to sell one day I may re-paint it white. I think you usually paint before selling anyway.

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